Sunday, November 28, 2021

ESPN GRABS NBA — LEAVING FOX SPORTS 1 WITHOUT PRO SPORTS

October 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Appearing to undercut Fox Sports 1’s ambition to supersede ESPN as the leading cable sports network, the NBA announced that it had signed a new nine-year rights agreement with its current partners, ESPN and Turner Sports two years ahead of the expiration of its current agreement. ESPN President John Skipper told Broadcasting & Cable magazine later that one of the reasons for signing the deal well ahead of its expiration was "within the context" of keeping the NBA out of any other network’s hands. The trade publication noted that Fox Sports 1 had hoped to sign a deal with the NBA and make it a key programming staple of the network. Failure to do so, it observed, means that "all four major professional sports leagues are locked into their TV contracts into the next decade," leaving Fox Sports 1 mostly with college sports and soccer — hardly the stuff to challenge ESPN.